Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Elliott who comments here from time to time has suggested this link to an article by famous sceptic Martin Gardiner. It is a review of some of the sillier ideas to come out of physics and one gets the impression that Gardiner thinks that theism is a rather more sensible explanation for the universe. Nice to see Gardiner is a sceptic to all sides.

I have been very busy on school work so haven't had too much time to post here. However, I do have plenty of things lined up for as soon as I have a moment, so watch this space.


Buridan said...

Gardner (no i) is in fact a proclaimed Theist, and great admirer of Chesterton, notice the Clerihew.

Read his "The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener" - highly recommened.

Anonymous said...

Martin Gardner is quoted in one of Shermer's books :-

'Fideism refers to believing something on the basis of faith, or emotional reasons rather than intellectual reasons. As a fideist I don't think there are any arguments that prove the existence of God or the immortality of the soul. More than that I think the better arguments are on the side of the atheists. So it is a case of quixotic emotional belief that really is against the evidence. If you have strong emotional reasons for metaphysical belief and it's not sharply contradicted by science or logical reasoning, you have a right to make a leap of faith if it provides sufficient satisfaction"

Strongruler said...

With regard to the Martin Rees style multiverse (i.e., the one that allows many different universes all with their own physical laws and values for the physical constants): it's a nice way of avoiding the implications of anthropic fine-tuning. There is, as Gardiner points out, not a shred of evidence that any of these other universes exist. The reason for postulating them seems to me to be purely anti-theistic. Scientists like Rees just have to go on maintaining the Laplacean arrogance of 'Je n'avais besoin de cette hypothese'. The a priori principle is 'if it involves God, it's not science'.